Re: About Boxes Re: The Help Menu

On Fri, 31 Jul 1998, Kenneth R . Kinder wrote:

> On %M, 0, Bowie Poag <> wrote:
> > However.. Continuing to throw "About.." under Help, simply because "its
> > always been done that way" may be a mistake. Sure, traditionally, thats
> > always where it has ended up -- But think about it, for a second. Does it
> > really belong there? How does selecting "About.." effectively *HELP* you?
> There is a reason the "Help" menu has that.  "Help" is what (like they
> tend to do) Apple renamed the documentation.  Documentation has
> traditionally, and continues (among other thins, I beleive for legal
> reasons) to have a copyright message in it.
> I'd prefer to see the Help menu be called Docs or something like that, but
> I doubt that's happening soon.

But Help should be more than documentation (which, in practice, isn't all
that helpful to most users). It should contain more task-directed help,
too -- "How do I do blah?" sorts of things. AppleGuide, for those who have
seen it, is a pretty good example of a good help system for new users. It
should also have a context-sensitive item which would give help based on
the selected item or (preferably) a more sophisticated assessment of what
the user is doing.

The solution to problems like "the help menu is really a documentation
menu" or "about isn't help-related" shouldn't be to rename or move the
offending items, but to *actually* make them *help* the user, like they
were intended to.

Tim Moore

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